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Admission process of a PhD student

Before a PhD student is admitted, the project, funding and supervisor's qualifications are reviewed and approved by the assistant head of department and the vice-dean responsible for doctoral education.

Application for the establishment of a PhD project

All PhD projects (full-time and part-time) must be approved as well-suited for doctoral education before a decision can be made to admit a doctoral student to the programme. All new PhD projects (full-time and part-time) must be entered into the doctoral project database. An assistant supervisor must be chosen who also reviews the project and certifies to take over supervisory responsibilities if the main supervisor for some reason is unable to fulfil their commitment.

The supervisor applies for approval of the doctoral project via the link below (Lucat-ID is used as login).

Database of PhD projects

Project review and supervisor assessment

When a supervisor begins the admissions process of a PhD student, the first task is an assessment of the proposed project. The following aspects are taken into account:

  • available resources
  • the suitability of the supervisor
  • the suitability of the supervision plan

This is to ensure that all PhD students have the opportunities and resources required to complete a high quality doctoral education.

Due to the importance of the PhD project being well-suited to the doctoral programme both in terms of content and time, the project plan is reviewed before the admission of the PhD student. The project design must be reasonable in terms of the content – the depth and breadth of the project and thesis components – and in terms of the planned timetable of the studies.

The supervisor's qualifications, experience, and suitability as a supervisor must be assessed in order for them to initiate the recruitment of a doctoral student. It must also be possible to justify the supervisor constellation and the role of each supervisor in the specific doctoral studies. This means that there is a review of the supervisor prior to admission of a PhD student based on:

  • meeting requirements, i.e. that the supervisor is a docent or the principal beneficiary of a three-year project grant from a national or international funding body, and that they have undergone supervisor training.
  • an assessment of previous track records and time spent supervising PhD students, to determine the principal supervisor's suitability as a supervisor.

The department's deputy head of department for doctoral education reviews the project (if necessary in consultation with the head of department and administrative head of the department), its financing, supervision and feasibility, and approves or rejects the project.

Decision by the Vice dean

If the project is approved, the matter goes to the Vice dean, who makes an official decision. The position is then ready to be advertised. Even in the case of a part-time position that is not to be advertised, the project must nonetheless be added to the PhD database and approved/decided before the doctoral student can be admitted.

Vacancy announcement

All full-time places in the doctoral programme are announced, and applications for the places are made in open competition. The proposal is also open for part-time positions. Announcements of full-time positions are made via vacancies on Lund University's website:

Vacant positions (Lund University's central website)

The selection process

A selected review panel suggest a suitable candidate and justifies their choice in writing. After approval and eligibility assessment by the deputyhead of department with doctoral responsibility, the Vice dean makes a formal decision on the admission of the doctoral student.

The admissions process

The admission process is described in detail on the Faculty of Medicine's external website:

Admissions to the doctoral programme 

Decision to reject an application to establish a doctoral project

A rejection decision must always be clearly explained.

There are three possible outcomes to an application. It may be:

  1. approved,
  2. approved with reservations, or
  3. rejected.

The right exists to reapply, if the grounds for the rejection have changed.

When assessing the project, its funding, and the suitability of the supervisor, the department and the Vice dean may decide to reject an application.

The following are examples of grounds for rejection:

  • The project is not considered suitable as a doctoral education project.
  • The financial conditions for a doctoral project are insufficient.
  • The supervisor will retire during the supervision period and there is no clear succession plan for the supervision of the PhD student.
  • The supervisor already has a large number of PhD students and is deemed to have neither time nor space for more.
  • The supervisor has been involved in conflicts with previous PhD students (or with others in the workplace).
  • The supervisor has been involved in inappropriate ethical assessments on several occasions.
  • The supervisor has shown a lack of accessibility and a lack of supporting the learning process with former PhD students.

Those whose applications are rejected have the right to reapply if the reasons for rejection have changed. When changing institutions, any rejection decisions must be notified to the new institution. However, the new institution makes its own assessment.